Bills will not retain Smith, NFL's first female assistant
(AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills will not retain Kathryn Smith, the first full-time female assistant coach in the NFL.
Smith is one of 14 assistants who will not remain on new coach Sean McDermott's staff, the Bills announced on Tuesday. McDermott was hired on Jan. 11 to replace Ryan, who was fired prior to the Bills' season finale.
Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and defensive backs coach Ed Reed are also among the coaches McDermott will not bring back. Special teams coach Danny Crossman is the only on-field assistant from Ryan's staff that McDermott has retained.
The move was fairly expected as new head coaches often bring in their own assistants, shifting away from those already in an organization.
Smith spent last season assisting Crossman as Buffalo's special teams quality control coach after Ryan promoted her from administrative assistant.
Smith has 14 seasons of NFL experience. She began her career in 2003 as a game day/special events intern. Two years later, Ryan promoted Smith to become a college scouting intern, and she eventually became the team's player personnel assistant in 2007.
A former three-sport high school athlete from suburban Syracuse, New York, Smith never anticipated she would one day be recognized for breaking a gender barrier in North America's most popular sport.
"That's not my focus," Smith told The Associated Press last year. "I might be the first. But I don't think I'll be the only one for very long."
Updated January 31, 2017